Lodurva Jain Temple
Kuldhara and Khaba make for a wonderful visit. However, there is still more that you can do on your way back to Jaisalmer. Lodurva, which was the capital of Bhatti rulers before it was shifted to Jaisalmer, is one of them. If you are hoping to see something good, then you will definitely be delighted to visit Lodurva.
The Lodurva Jain temples are dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankara Lord Parsavnath. The temples were destroyed by Mohammed Ghori in 12th century and were later rebuilt in the 17th century. Recent restoration works have also been carried out in this place.
The temples are impressive. This is something you realize once you step inside. The incredible beauty of the temple is there for you to see. The toran at the entrance is grand and intricately carved. Passing through it, visit the main temple that houses the statue of Lord Parsavnath. Other than the main temple, there are a couple of other smaller temples that are equally beautiful.
Go around the temple to see the wonderful detailed carving on the pillars along with the intricate lattice work. Together they give an astounding look and feel to the temple. Another highlight is the Kalpvriksha, the celestial tree believed to exist here in the bygone era. The tree seen today is completely covered.
There is no denying the importance of a lake in desert region and this one too has its significance right from the time it was built for conservation of water in Jaisalmer. The lake is accessed through a gateway known as Tilon ki Pol which itself has an interesting anecdote associated with it.
According to it, a courtesan named Tilon wished to build a gate to the lake but was denied permission by the king. The king did not wish to pass through a gate built by a courtesan; however the lady took advantage of one his long absence and got the gate constructed. To protect it from being pulled down by the king on his return, she further placed an image of Lord Krishna in a temple at the top. Her idea worked and the gate stayed.
Today, the lake is one of the hot favourite in Jaisalmer attractions with locals and tourists. It is flanked by temples, shrines and chattris and makes for a good short trip. It is best visited during sunrise and sunset but those who wish to avoid crowd should visit this lake early morning. Boating facilities are available here. The lake is also home to a lot of catfish and visitors can spend some time feeding them.
Desert Cultural Centre and Museum
Pretty close to Gadisar Lake is the Desert Cultural Centre and Museum. Though not big but definitely informative, the museum is the result of a sole man’s vision, efforts and perseverance to preserve the cultural, heritage, desert history and folk tradition of the region. This man is Mr NK Sharma. Apart from the museum, there are two shows daily in the evening that includes a small documentary film along a colourful puppet show with live music. In between, the founder N K Sharma informs the audience about the history of desert and the details about various performances.
Jaisalmer War Museum
Jaisalmer Museum came into existence in August 2015. It honours the valour and sacrifice of Indian soldiers during the Indo-Pak and Laungewala war of 1965 and 1971 respectively. The display begins right from the time you entire the premises.
In an open green space, right near the entrance, the museum displays tanks and vehicles used by the Indian army as well as those that were captured in war from Pakistan. The Hunter aircraft, that destroyed a lot of Pakistan’s tank in the 1971 war, is displayed here and so is the Vijayanta Main battle Tank, the first indigenous tank of Indian army introduced and used in 1965 & 1971. There is also a Roll of Honour Wall that lists the names of the recipients of Param Vir Chakra and Mahavir Chakra.
Then there are two display halls to explore – the Indian Army hall and the Laungewala hall. The former traces the history of Indian army through various ages (the Mauryas, Guptas, Marathas, Mughals, British and post-independence). There are details about various wars – Indo-Pak War 19 47-48 as well as 1965, Sino-India war 1962 and Kargil War 1999. The hall also displays vintage uniforms, war equipment used in various wars, details about war heroes, gallantry awards and their recipients. The latter hall traces details about the Battle of Laungewala.
There is a short documentary in a small audio visual room as well. Jaisalmer War Museum is a perfect place that evokes a lot of patriotism and respect for soldiers in everyone.
The Museum is not far away, just around 13 kms from the town of Jaisalmer. It can be visited easily from Jaisalmer. Though if you are travelling by road from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur (or vice versa), it is a good idea to visit it enroute. It is right on the way. If you plan to leave Jaisalmer by 12 in the noon, then you can also have your lunch in the museum’s small cafeteria aptly called The Warrior café.
Visit these Jaisalmer attractions on your trip to the city.